We know that taking the leap to work or teach overseas can be daunting. Fortunately, Search Associates is there to help you make as smooth a transition as possible. Over the past 23 years, Founding Director John Magagna has assembled an elite team of Associates, knowledgeable in every aspect of living abroad and working in international schools. Senior Associate Bob Barlas, one of our 19 experts, is the epitome of the supportive advisor.
Bob spent 17 years teaching and working overseas, mostly in Asia, starting at the UWC of South East Asia in Singapore and finishing up as the School Counselor for the Overseas Children's School of Colombo.
Additionally, Bob worked for Trent University as part of their overseas recruitment and orientation program where he presented a number of cross cultural workshops for students and interested teachers. Most exciting, however, is that Bob is a published author whose writing specializes in cross cultural living.
The writing began in 1983. After teaching one year in China, Bob understood the need for a handbook on the do's and don'ts of teaching overseas. He wrote The Canada China Teaching Handbook, which, in subsequent years, was purchased by more than 1,000 Canadian educators and administrators.
Times Publishing of Singapore, impressed by Bob's first booklet, commissioned him to write for their Culture Shock series. Bob describes it:
"This series was written not for tourists but specifically for people who were going to live and work in various different countries and cultures. The book had sections on all aspects of cross cultural living from the impact of geography and history to food, lifestyles, recreations, and language and cultural norms."
Next, while living in Sri Lanka in 1989, Bob wrote "Culture Shock – Sri Lanka," now in its fourth edition. Because of its enormous success, he followed with Culture Shock books on Canada, Jamaica, Latvia, Bahamas, and Uganda, all of which remain in print. Their content is a combination of Bob's own knowledge and the input of local researchers.
Upon his return from Sri Lanka in 1989, Bob was inundated with requests from Canadian teachers for a good book on the do's and don'ts of teaching overseas. He responded by writing and self publishing his own. He describes it:
"The Teaching Overseas Information Handbook… became quite popular as it was the only book of its kind available at that time… [It] contained a lot of useful information for aspiring teachers - how to determine whether you would be a successful overseas teacher, how to find a job overseas, what has to be done to prepare once you have one, and how to find out more (which was a kind of annotated bibliography)."
Founder John Magagna happened upon this publication in 1995 and invited Bob to join the team as the Canadian Search Associate. For 19 years, Bob Barlas has used his expertise to provide candidates with connections, support, answers, and opportunities.
So don't be afraid to take the leap. With Search Associates, you are in good hands!